You may have heard people tossing around the phrase "sharing economy" these days. Essentially an umbrella term to describe new age social and economic activity, the meanings of this phrase relate to online market places and people to people "sharing." While services relating to the sharing economy are proving to be lucrative these days, they are also helping users live their lives in ways that they have only dreamed of. How exactly? Well....
It's Providing Convenience
When everyday tasks and necessities are inconvenient, it wastes a whole lot of time and sometimes money. People who are trying to achieve their dreams, reach their goals and make accomplishments are often set back by time wasted or the exhaustion that comes along with daily chores. With the rise of the sharing economy, more services are on the market that are making everyday life easier and freeing up more time for users. Uber and Lyft are two of the most well known as they are making it easier and quicker for users to get around. Instead of wasting time on public transit, worrying about who will be the designated driver on a night out or waiting unnecessarily for a taxi to stop, people can get instant access to rides. As of September, 2016, Uber reported having 8 million users, 160,000 drivers, use in 70 different countries and more than 62 million total trips. According to Lyft, in 2016 there are over 315,000 drivers, use in more than 65 cities and over 25,000 daily downloads.
There are More Work Opportunities
This whole sharing economy phenomena is not one sided. In fact, the people involved are benefiting all around. During an age, especially in places like the U.S and some places in Europe, when people have been finding the job market quite dismal, sharing economy services have been providing opportunities. Speaking to many Uber drivers myself, I've found that many of them have taken the jobs because of losing their jobs or trying to overcome financial hardships like medical bills.
There is an Ease of Entry into Entrepreneurship
Becoming an entrepreneur is a dream for many but one that can often seem a bit unachievable or difficult to get started with. With platforms like Uber and Lyft as well as Airbnb, where people can rent out their homes for a profit, there is an easy entryway to start making money on your own terms. While the extent of some peoples' entrepreneurial ventures may stay along these lines, others may gain the confidence to move on to other ideas and start making things happen for themselves.
People can Have Things That They Ordinarily Couldn't Afford
"You can have your cake and eat too," is a saying that's become a lot more real as of late. While not everyone can afford to own all of the items of their dreams, the sharing economy system allows them to borrow them. Luxury items are now becoming more accessible with services like Extendmycloset, an online fashion portal that allows people to rent luxury designer dresses, gowns, prom dresses, top of the line footwear and expensive accessories that they otherwise could never afford. Lenders are typically in close proximity to the users so that they can get their hands on what they need in time for their big events. it provides a worry-free experience to both Borrowers and Lenders through its Fit Guarantee and Lender Protection Guarantee respectively. Another service offering this kind of luxury is Drive Now, a car sharing service from BMW that allows people to easily get a hold of luxury cars for a short amount of time without having to purchase their own.
Travel is Made Cheaper
Tons of people dream of exotic trips and lives filled with travel and adventure but few are able to actually afford that kind of lifestyle. With platforms that involve sharing skills and properties, the options for travel have expanded as things become cheaper and even free. Websites like Airbnb allow travelers to stay in full-sized and well equipped homes where other sites like WOOFING allow users to trade farm work for free room and board. HelpEx is another platform that allows travelers to trade skills for room and board while sites like Courchsurfing.org allows people to say on the couches of generous hosts for free in different destinations.
If you haven't yet taken advantage of any of these sharing economy platforms, you may want to start checking them out. Whatever your dreams may be, there is a good chance that one of these new ideas can help you achieve them.